| Anderson & Babcock "Knight Twister", N-979. (Leo J. Kohn Photo) |
"I had been flying about two years and had only flown an L-2 when I found this 'Twister' for sale, and not even knowing what a 'Knight Twister' was, bought it. After doing that, I looked at the short span and chord of the wings and the stubby fuselage, and decided it must be a monster to fly. After a couple of days, I managed to get up enough courage to get into the cockpit, armed with things I'd been told about climb, glide and such. I was more worried about harming this beautiful airplane than myself. I spent about 20 minutes taxiing the plane, slow at first, then faster. She went like an arrow without much rudder work. Finally I gave it the gun and used a little back pressure on the stick and was off the ground and climbing at 110. And when I use the word 'little', I mean it! I tried some nice, easy turns and was all over the cockpit, thus learning that when in a midget biplane one just about stays off the rudder. The ailerons aren't very far outboard and so you don't get much aileron yaw, hence little need for rudder. The 3500 ft. runway looked much smaller from the 'Twister' than it did from my L-2. I decided on a throttle landing and made a nice long, low approach -- have a long runway handy when learning how to handle a midget. I left the stick almost in neutral and came back on the power instead to lower it to the touch-down point. After your first landing this way, you can change the technique bit by bit until you are landing three-point. Well, I made a nice landing and it was all easier than I thought. Today, after four years and 350 hrs. in a 'Twister', I can say, keep it flying, never let it slow down, never go low in one except straight ahead to land, and don't build a 'Twister' with less than 125 hp. Mine had 85, but I changed to a 125. This didn't affect glide or landing much but made the climb much better, and improved the cruise from 125 to 150 mph. I have allowed four or five pilots to fly my ship and they all say the 'Twister' handles much easier than it looks. I also own a 145 'Swift', and after using it for two years, would say it is harder to fly than the 'Twister.' A 'Twister' is just another airplane -- it won't get you into any more trouble than will an L-2 if you just fly it like a 'Twister'!" -- Michigan.